Few events are more highly anticipated than the Granddaddy of them all, the COF Championship. In 2011, many in the Circle crew could hardly wait to wage battle over the tricky fairways and island greens at Ruffled Feathers in Lemont, Illinois.

The individual competition was divided into four flights: C, B, A and A+. The C flight was won by a Circle veteran, Bob Ingram, who managed to play consistently (even with that stogie affixed to his lips) and edge Frank Smith. Both shot a combined 199 for the two days, but Ingram won the tie-breaker and took home the hardware for first place. Smith got second place, and Rob Simpson took the third place prize.

The B flight had a runaway winner. After a couple of years away from the action, Lonnie Jones returned to the competition and sprinted to victory. Jones shot an impressive 88-94 for a combined 182 and the first place trophy. The Black Doctor, Reggie Ware, tried to keep pace but settled for second with his combined 199 score. The steadily improving Will Lucas won a tie-breaker to edge Chuck Henderson for third place.

As usual the A-flight was up for grabs. This highly competitive flight is usually decided by whoever has the hottest sticks coming into the weekend. Would it be The Big O? ROC-it? DJ Quik? T Harvey? Well, Chicagoans who had been around to watch Larry Kirkwood logging a series of second-place finishes throughout the summer might have predicted he was poised to cash in big. The Wood carded an admirable 88 after day 1 with Crockett (90) and James (92) hot on his heals. But Wood was the only one that managed to stay in the 80s on Sunday, shooting another solid round of 89 for a combined 177 and first place. Crockett came in second and James third.

We thought about giving Tommy “Long Ball” Blanchard the A+ trophy before the competition started, but we decided to let the guys tee it up. Blanchard was pushed on the first day when Circle rookie Levar Fisher shot an 83 and relative newcomer Chuck Dog shot 84. But neither was better than Blanchard, who carded an 81. And on Sunday he decided to stop giving guys false hope. Blanchard posted an enviable 77, and walked away with the trophy … again. Fisher posted a solid 84 for second place and Chuck Dog turned in an 87 for third.

Oh, and by the way, Blanchard claimed the coveted Circle of Friends Cup … again. Congratulations Tommy!

Thanks to all that participated. We hope to see you soon … on the short grass!

PRIZES

Longest Drive – Rick Robinson, Van Sapp

Closest to Pin – Larry Kirkwood, Roger Crockett

Longest Putt – Frank Smith, Will Suggs

Best Dressed – Isaac Carter

Tracy Jackson Spirit Award – Darrell James